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Weaponising Sympathy – The Case of Emma Weller, Healthcare Worker

Emma Weller

‘This is a very serious offence of its kind as it was sophisticated and sustained. Your actions led to the arrest of an innocent person…you knew this but you did not care'

Emma Weller broke up with her first boyfriend, prison officer Paul Miller, in 2019. She was then with a police officer before he also broke up with her. Weller had apparently been 'demanding, obsessive and manipulative', and would use her personal difficulties to emotionally manipulate her partners back into a relationship. She claimed pregnancies, miscarriages, abortion, deaths of those close to her etc. to gain attention or sympathy, and so save the relationship.

Weller, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of perverting the course of justice at Maidstone Crown Court earlier this month. The offence took place in 2020 and included a series of acts which perverted the course of justice, in that she caused false criminal allegations against her ex-boyfriend, Paul Miller. Weller created fake social media accounts to send herself and her new partner messages purporting to be from Miller.

She also created another false identity on dating website “Tara” to make contact with her ex-partner after they broke up, which ended with this fake identity making threats of rape to her partner. Her ex-partner, fearing for the defendant’s safety and believing that the person messaging him was Miller, called 999 immediately so that officers were sent to check on the defendant - and Miller was again arrested.

The next day she made an allegation that she had been robbed and sexually assaulted in an alleyway. The description she gave of her masked assailant matched Miller's description, including the smell of his aftershave and his clothing. Her description of what the attacker said also pointed to her assailant being known to her: she 'deserved it, once a rape victim always a rape victim'; the latter something she had told her ex-partner that Miller had said to her before.

Weller claimed to have fled the scene after her would-be rapist desisted when he realised that she had a bloody sanitary towel in her underwear. She claimed this was because of an abortion, but there had been no such abortion. She went to her ex-partner’s house for help, with apparent injuries to her face and body that the Crown say she had inflicted on herself.

Based on the information provided by the defendant and her ex-partner’s natural assumption that Miller was fulfilling his threat the day before, the incident was reported to the police by her partner. Miller was identified as the likely suspect and then arrested for the third time - only hours after he had been released from the second arrest - this time arrested for robbery and attempted rape.

The effect of this course of conduct was that police investigations were commenced in respect of harassment/stalking, malicious communications, robbery and attempted rape. This resulted in Miller's arrest on three occasions, including overnight stays in police custody for up to 24 hours and the download of his mobile phone.

The investigation undertaken revealed that Weller was behind the creation of fake social media accounts to send herself and her ex-partner harassing messages, and that the alleged robbery and attempted rape were staged to gain sympathy from her ex-partner and rescue their relationship.

Weller was 'of previous good character', has two children and has worked in various healthcare positions, but was sentenced to 2 years and 8 months immediate imprisonment. Defence barrister Emin Kandola read a letter penned by Weller apologising to her former lover, Mr Miller, for the ‘pain and upset’ she had caused him. Recorder Mathew McDonagh nonetheless jailed the ‘demanding, obsessive and manipulating’ woman to 32 months in prison for her conduct in perverting the course of justice.

He concluded: ‘This is a very serious offence of its kind as it was sophisticated and sustained. Your actions led to the arrest of an innocent person…you knew this but you did not care'.

By Sean Bw Parker

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